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Prévenir l’Extrémisme Violent au Gouvernorat de Médenine

C·A·Perspectives on Tunisia No. 06-2017

20.11.2017 · C·A·P


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Une Politique Régionale pour Prévenir l’Extrémisme Violent au Gouvernorat de Médenine
C·A·Perspectives on Tunisia No. 06-2017 by Tarek Ghazel

C·A·Perspectives on Tunisia No. 06-2017, written (in French) by Dr. Tarek Ghazel, researcher and instructor at the Universities of Gabès and Sfax, addresses the question of how to develop a local policy to prevent violent extremism in the Governorate of Medenine.

The paper is part of the Policy Advice and Strategy Development Project, financed by the Free State of Bavaria as part of the Bavarian-Tunisian Action Plan 2016-2018.

Summary

Since the terrorist attacks of Bardo in 2015, Sousse and Ben Guerdane in 2016, the Tunisian Government has deployed enormous resources to fight violent extremism and terrorism nationwide. Several measures have been put in place to protect Tunisians from terrorism. As a result, a National Counterterrorism Commission was created to unify the efforts and the vision to prevent terrorism and a national counter-terrorism strategy was launched in 2016. However, at the regional level, the approach seems to be reactive, limited on fighting terrorism, and oriented to the security aspect. in order to be fully effective, it but must be accompanied by a policy of prevention of violent extremism at the local level.

This policy paper addresses the local authorities of the Governorate of Medenine, in particular, the Regional Council and the Governor. It aims to launch a multidisciplinary regional and local policy by the different actors (local authorities and the Regional Council, politicians, the private sector, civil society) to prevent violent extremism in the Governorate of Medenine. The strategic objective will be the formation of an inclusive and resilient local society that rejects any form of violent extremism.

Recommendations

A policy, devised and created by local actors, who perfectly understand the local context and its specificities, can strengthen the governmental efforts to fight against the rise of extremism and terrorism. Such an approach also aims at decentralizing and relocating any national strategy or policy on prevention. The implementation of the local policy must start by diagnosing the needs before suggesting solutions. Given that it is recommended

  • to create a tripartite interinstitutional Regional Committee that brings together all government actors, civil society and researchers. Then, in a second step, committees in the delegations and communities should be created. The main objective is to identify the factors of repulsion and attraction in each locality and to design a cartography of violent extremism in the governorate;

  • to fund and conduct research related to violent extremism at the micro-local level, such as the neighborhoods Jallal in Ben Guerdane, Ennour and Charayhaà in Medenine etc. Research subjects can focus on the mapping and demography of contraband and school dropout, the design of an adequate alternative discourse with the socio-cultural specificities of the region etc.;

  • to cooperate with international organizations working on the subject of prevention;

  • to launch a series of citizen dialogues at the level of each delegation to unify the vision of all local actors around the subject;

  • to promote greater engagement with local communities by involving community leaders and the media in the prevention process; and to implicate the private sector in particular: tourism, services, industry and trade in policy design and in the prevention process;

  • to support financially and logistically cultural and educational alternatives in cities and neighborhoods with a high rate of delinquency and violence.

It is also recommended to prioritize social groups who are vulnerable to violent extremism such as:

  • Children (victims or witnesses) of terrorist attacks: The idea is to design, for illustrative purposes, specific educational programs for these children for reintegration or rehabilitation and civic education. The following local actors are to be addressed: The Regional Directorates for Children and Youth in cooperation with Non-Governmental Organizations and Social Services.

  • Parents for their important roles in preventing violent extremism in the family or in their community: It is important to build the capacity of parents especially mothers in the early detection of violent extremism.

Finally, it is recognized that combating and preventing violent extremism is a long-term process that needs to be managed over the long term. This policy paper should encourage local, regional and national authorities to maintain this issue as a priority.


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